(22 June 2015) – The European Commission has published a report which measures the progress to both the EU and the national targets at the country, region and city level.
Two clear conclusions are confirmed by the report. First, less developed regions are farthest removed from the 2020 targets. Second, cities in Cohesion countries are much closer to the 2020 targets than their towns, suburbs and rural areas are.
Due to their strong performance, cities in Cohesion countries almost match the performance of cities in non-Cohesion countries. On average, the cities in non-Cohesion countries have an almost identical score as their towns, suburbs and rural areas, but in several countries the cities score below towns, suburbs and rural areas. Overall, the crisis has made it harder to reach the employment and poverty reduction targets.
The EU has made progress towards the research and development (R&D) target, but the trend is not strong enough to reach the target by 2020. Innovation remained highly concentrated in spatial terms and showed no signs of spreading to less developed regions.
The EU has made progress towards both the renewable energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, although part of this is due to a drop in energy demand linked to the crisis.
The progress towards the two education targets is encouraging, but a return to strong employment growth may stymie this progress.